About the Project

Australia has lots of wild pollinator insects that are often overlooked. European honey bees get a lot of attention because they are an adaptable, generalist forager, which means they are happy to visit almost any flower, in most climate zones. They are also a social species, so their hives are easy to domesticate and manage.

However, many native insects also contribute to pollination in crops and gardens all around the country. We still need to do a lot of research to identify all our pollinator insect species, understand their ecology and how they are affected by human activities. So far, we know that  Australia has around 2,000 native bee species, all of which are important pollinators. We also know there are a couple of thousand butterfly, wasp, fly, moth, beetle, thrips and ant species, some of which are documented pollinators. Unfortunately, we don’t have a lot of information on the ecology of many of these insects, what flowers they pollinate, or where they are found.

The Wild Pollinator Count gives you an opportunity to contribute to wild pollinator insect conservation in Australia. We invite you to count wild pollinators in your local environment and help us build a database on wild pollinator activity.

Between 2014 and 2021 we held Wild Pollinator Counts for a week each autumn and spring.
There are no counts scheduled in 2022.

You can join in by watching any flowering plant for just ten minutes sometime in our count week.

  • You don’t need to be an insect expert.
  • You don’t need fancy gear.
  • You may be surprised by what you see!

Find out how to count pollinators, identify the insects you see and submit your observations through the links at the top of the page. You can also download our Run Your Own Count kit and organise to count with a group.

If you have any questions or comments about the count, please contact us via the Keep in Touch page.

Thank you!

67 thoughts on “About the Project

  1. Excellent sie you’ve got here.. It’s difficult to finnd quality writing like yours nowadays.
    I truly appreciate people like you! Take care!!


  2. The University of Canberra Environmental Science Society will be doing counts for the next 3 days! Hopefully we find some interesting pollinators on campus.


  3. This is a much needed, ground-up program that could benefit society as a whole. May I suggest that with the introduction to the program, perhaps the ppl in charge of this important initiative should talk a bit about what harms these pollinators and what every household could do to minimise the harm? Perhaps get ppl to switch to more organic way of growing things? Just a suggestion…. happy to contribute in any way possible… 😊


    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have Bumble bees, Honey Bees, & Hover flies feeding in cream flowered Melaleuca as I write this. Insects are amazing & great idea to do a count! Joan 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Folks, Love the Project’s aims & concept. I just downloaded the kit pdf, and the 1st 2 pages are unreadable because of a very large butterfly image that overlays the text. It doesn’t show on my screen when I look at your site’s images of the pages, but it does in both the kit download and the individual page downloads.

    Pls let me know when the problems resolved so I can re-download.


    Mazza V

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the heads up Mazza!
      I guess it’s a PDF issue, as I can’t seem to replicate it here. I have updated the kit (the link was to an older version, maybe the current one overcomes this problem?).
      Alternatively, I’ve also removed the butterfly watermark from the stand-alone file. Please see if either/both work for you.
      Cheers, Karen


  6. Thanks for that Karen.

    So far it hasn’t worked this end ~ Tried opening the individual pdf (‘Plan & Run’), and got a 404 msg. Then tried ‘Save Target as’ and Msg was ” ‘Plan & Count …..’ couldn’t be downloaded.”

    I’m getting on with it anyway, but imagine you’d want to know.




    1. Sorry Mazza – have been busy with Count events so didn’t let you know, this should be ok now (take 2)! I’ll email it too. All good – this kit is aimed at groups and organisations wanting to run their own event, rather than individuals. 🙂 Hope you’ve had some fun with a count or two.
      Cheers, Karen


  7. So great to come across this project and Australian Pollinator Week! I’ll be sharing the details with everyone on Sunday at our next Mareeba Seed Saving and Gardening Group Event.


  8. Blue banded bees are in the garden at 2N calvary hospital on the hardenbergia and rosemary……. They want to knock the garden down for car parking….. Tragic for the patients and the bees. These are nesting in the garden.


  9. Today Monday22April 2019 I saw a Carpenter Bee at 1:10 pm on the same Cassia bush that I was watching yesterday 21 April.


    1. Hi Joanna,
      You don’t need an app to participate in our count in November – you can view the tally sheet online (or print it out) and after watching your flowering plant for ten minutes, submit your totals and location details via the submission form. You don’t need to know the species in much detail (we have some guides to help) and you don’t need to take photos.

      If you’re keen to submit observations outside the count periods, or to include more detail like photos, you can do so using the iNaturalist website and/or app and by join our ‘Wild Pollinator Count’ project on there. You will need a photo for this option. Upload a photo of the insect you saw and we’ll help to confirm its identity. Stay tuned for more on this app on our email list and website shortly!


  10. Hi I have an 8 year old daughter who loves beetles and bees and bugs. We live in Bathurst and love to help counting insects in the coming
    Count in November.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I would love to do this. Last year I had huge amounts of pollunators and this year I can barely find a single bee. I need to know how to get them back.


    1. Hi Linda,
      Insects can respond quickly to local conditions, so it can be common to see variation like this. Climate change and other things that happen at large scales, like nearby pesticide use or lots of tree clearing, also affect what pollinators you might see in your local area. In your own local patch or garden, there are plenty of easy things you can do to support wild pollinators – see one of our old blog posts here: https://wildpollinatorcount.com/2015/02/27/wild-pollinator-gardens-2/
      Hope you enjoy spring Wild Pollinator Count next week!



  12. Attended Karen’s presentation at Wantirna yesterday- what a terrific introduction to insect pollinators. Her enthusiasm is wonderful- hope the word spreads far and wide, well done!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Hi
    I’m a Citizen Science project officer at Corangamire CMA and work with Waterwatch and EstuaryWatch monitors. With the coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions on travel and social distancing, these volunteers can’t do their usual monitoring. I’m going to suggest the wild pollinators count to monitors because it can be done in people’s backyards. Do you have any special messages for our citizen scientists in Geelong-Ballarat-Colac area?
    Cheers Deirdre


    1. Thanks for your message Dierdre, we welcome contributions from anywhere in Australia! We will be posting updates on the blog in coming weeks, and any subscribers will receive these posts. ‘Rules’ stay the same across all counts, make sure to check out the How to Count and Resources pages!


  14. Another Native Resin Bee identified in our Garden. There are approximately twenty of them foraging on our Perennial Basil 🐝🐝 along with the honey bees 💛

    Megachile (Eutricharaea) chrysopyga, female. Resin Bee . Approximately twenty.

    Honey Bees well over 50 foraging on our Perennial Basil

    Sunday 12th April 2020

    I have photos I want to share please


  15. I have seen the blue banned bee in my area of Glen Waverley in Victoria. It likes pink and Mexican Blue Salivas in my garden and it also likes phlox’s and Sedum in my garden called Autumn Joy. I also see a lot of the European bees liking these plants and Pieribay Butterflies and Australian Painted Lady Butterflies and Black Swallowtail come into my garden and like the Sedum while in flower. The Black Swallowtail are very low in numbers.


  16. Shared to Citizen Science WA Facebook page @citsciwa to activate more backyard observations during COVID-19 movement restrictions


  17. I have basil in flower in my back yard,
    Today I saw some honey bees, some tiny little red and black flying insects that were too small and fast to photograph and a few of the prettiest blue bees? , not sure if they were bees, once again they were too fast for me to photograph


  18. I lost contact with you and all my other contacts when my e-mail (Apple bless their cotton socks) had a problem and changed ever so slightly now with a 2 at the end not 1 of my address So I didn’t get the dates for the count. Lots of European Bees and fewer but some other native bees in my Bee Fields but the clouds of Blue Banded Bees from 2 or 3 years ago very diminished. Think the renovations along the foreshore of the lake opposite Bellbridge might have disturbed habitat by removing any tree that looked a little disheveled. That could not help. But the BBB’s burrow. Maybe some weed killers were sprayed around. I wasn’t able to observe this. Had open heart surgery a year ago and before that was unwell. Great now though.


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